Thirty five years ago today the Soviet Venera 14 probe landed on Venus. Subjected to temperatures in excess of 800 degrees, pressure equal to some of the deepest ocean dives and an atmosphere that has sulphuric acid in it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have pictured the probe so optimistly. The Russians tend to over-engineer these missions, so I think the mostly titanium probe is still intact after all these years. I would like to see more missions to Venus. As inhospitable it is, it takes half as long to get there than Mars, it has similar gravity, protection from radiation, and the upper atmosphere has an air pressure that wouldn’t be too hard to deal with.
Last month I was asked to exhibit at the Space Foundation’s Discovery Center in Colorado Springs. While I was there I took some pictures of the various space artifacts that were on display. On loan from NASA, was a full scale mock-up of the Huygens probe that landed on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. I decided to try to use the photos to illustrate the probe on the surface of Titan. Above is the result. This gave me the chance to experiment with soft-body dynamics to make the parachute drape over the surface I had created. Below are the photos I took at the Space Discovery Center.
In 2013 seven ground-based telescopes watch Asteroid Chariklo as it passed in front of a bright star, an event known as an occultation. A reduction in the amount of light preceding and after the asteroid passed in front of the star confirmed that there is a ring around it. Making Chariklo the fifth object in our solar system and the smallest to have a ring system. Chariklo is only about 150 miles wide with a double ring that spans about 10 miles. Chariklo orbits between Saturn and Uranus.
I would like to thank the Space Foundation for inviting me to exhibit my artwork during their Art and Ales event. It was a great venue, with many people excited about space and aerospace. I brought seven framed prints and presented how some of them were created on the iPad. You can learn more about the space foundation at www.discoverspace.org/. Great group of people and I hope I have the opportunity to do more events there.
My depiction of the Philae comet lander in it’s final position after it had bounced twice in it’s landing attempt. This illustration is based on the images capturing the lander resting on it’s side in a chasm on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. You can view the lander in it’s final resting place here. This illustration shows the Rosetta orbiter in the background.
On July 4th the Juno spacecraft will transition from space flight to orbit. After five years in space and approaching Jupiter at a mind boggling speed of 165,000 mph. The spacecraft will fire it’s thrusters, putting it in a wide polar orbit. The first two orbits will take over a hundred days to complete. Juno also has the distinction of being the farthest spacecraft to use solar power. The polar orbit will keep the spacecraft oriented to the sun. Juno’s suite of instruments will provide a wealth of information about Jupiter’s magnetic field, auroras, composition and atmosphere.
The Juno model was built and rendered in Lightwave 3D. The thermal blankets (foil) was modeled in Sculprtis. Image enhancements in Photoshop. Prints and merchandise can be purchased here.
A Neutron star the size of an asteroid is shrouded by a disk of gas, dust and charged particles bound to it’s intense magnetic field. Powerful jets of energy are emitted revealing the immense power of these stellar remains. Painted using the Sketchbook Pro App for iPad.